Stripping Paint? Try Denatured Alcohol



I haven't been able to work on anything Gunpla quite recently (except for assembling a couple of kits or so, or further mangling old kits, just to break my monotony) mainly because I currently have overlapping projects, aside from a pending domicile change.  There's also no relevant issue for me to rant on, so this blog has stagnated a bit

So, here's something I posted over Facebook, which I am only now able to post here, for the benefit of those who do not know who I am on FB.

Stripping paint is a pain.  We all know this for a fact.  We tried different soaking mediums with varying results.  Hobby kit plastics (PS and ABS), as we all know, melt in certain mediums, so it's quite important to know which one works for our purpose and which do not.

As far as my research is concerned, brake fluid seem to do the job quite quickly, but the downside is, it's highly toxic and may not be good for plastic in the long run.  Hobby grade thinners are only good for thinning paint, but they also seem to damage certain plastic over time, making them brittle when saturated (as I have experienced with my NG RF Astray and MG HiNu).  It might just have happened due to my carelessness, but, I have stopped using hobby grade thinners, especially since I use mostly industrial grade spray can paints (which HGTs work poorly on) and Vallejo Hobby-Color and Game Color Acrylics which are water-based.

Then, there's denatured alcohol.  I have long known the potency of the stuff even before I tried it myself, from other modelers who have been using it.  Since it's alcohol, it's basically "safe."  It's only toxic if you ingest it, and the only real downside of it is, it can dry your skin after prolonged use (which gloves can help with).




Denatured Alcohol strips paint from parts quick and easy. The "time lapse" above shows parts from one of my old projects, the Angelus.

The paints used are Bosny Flat Black/Flat White/Grey Primer, Nickel Metal Alloy, Honda Red 67 and RJ London Pearl White. Bosny paints are industrial automotive paints.

Frame 1: The parts, before soaking.

Frame 2: Denatured alcohol, in 40mL soaking canister

Frame 3: After a few seconds of soaking. The liquid starts working as soon as the painted part is dropped.

Frame 4: The clear Honda Red "dissolves" into the liquid.

Frame 5-6: With the still un-soaked part in the background, the metallic nickel and flat white soften and loosen hold from the surface, simply rubbing it with bare fingers dislodges it from the plastic. At this point, the primer/flat black becomes "powdery." Majority of the paint can be easily brushed off with a medium-bristled brush, or a used toothbrush, even in the nooks and crannies/details.

Frame 7: The second kneecap armor, still un-soaked. This was later thrown in with the rest of the parts.

Frame 8: While the first batch of photos were processed, the parts continue to soak. They were then taken out and given a stern brushing.

All in all, Denatured Alcohol can strip paint, even as hardy as industrial ones, in as little as 30 minutes.

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